The duty of care owed by a doctor to his or her patient is never weightier than when that doctor is an obstetrician, responsible for both mother and child. At Cooper Schall & Levy, our birth injury infection attorneys are dedicated to protecting you and your infant from the risks inherent in the misdiagnosis or mistreatment of birth infections. We know how awful it is to have a healthy fetus suffer permanent damage or even death due to the negligence of a physician and do everything in our power to bring you a just outcome.
If your baby has suffered serious harm as a result of a birth injury infection or you have lost a baby to such an infection, contact us to find out whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim. If so, no one will fight harder for you and your infant than our dedicated, highly skilled birth injury infection attorneys.
We Will Provide You with Compassion as Well as Outstanding Legal Representation
We have won damages for deserving clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, and are well-prepared to do the same for you. We will take all necessary steps to craft a winning strategy with which to approach opposing lawyers, including:
- Examining medical records from the beginning of your pregnancy
- Interviewing witnesses
- Investigating whether your doctor has any history of negligence
- Consulting with experts in various medical disciplines (e.g. obstetrics, infectious disease, pharmacology) whose testimony may be valuable in bolstering your case
We know that you and your family are going through an emotionally overwhelming period. Therefore, in addition to confronting the attorney defending your doctor’s reputation and the insurance company that wants to settle for less money than your case is worth, we will offer you the moral support to see you through this troubling time.
Types of Birth Injury Infections
Birth injury infections are passed from mothers to their newborns in the birth canal. Like all infections, the sooner they are diagnosed and correctly treated, the less likelihood there is of complications and the greater chances there are of complete recovery. This is why your doctor’s constant vigilance during your pregnancy is critical.
With so much safe technology available to track maternal health and fetal development, obstetricians usually have numerous means (e.g. ultrasounds, blood tests, amniocentesis, group B stress) to detect birth infections early enough to have strong therapeutic options. Birth injury infections can come from bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites harbored by the mother that travel through the placenta, or from improper sanitation in the hospital delivery room and include:
- Group B Strep (streptococcus), a very common type of bacteria, found in approximately a quarter of all adult women, must be detected and treated early on to prevent the baby from suffering meningitis and possible brain damage
- E. Coli in the mother can also cause meningitis in the baby so it must be diagnosed early and treated with antibiotics to prevent problems in the child
- Chicken Pox (Varicella), though relatively harmless in childhood, can cause cerebral palsy (CP) and other permanent injuries in patients under the age of 1 year (including unborn babies) or over the age of 16 years, so most people are inoculated during childhood
- Rubella (German measles), is a virus that years ago presented a widespread danger of CP and other problems to babies whose mothers were infected, but has now has been almost entirely eradicated by vaccinations to children
- Syphilis, an STD that has been infecting humans for thousands of years, can be transmitted through the placenta and cause severe health problems in the infant, including hearing & vision loss, brain damage, abnormal tooth formation, and even death, so women are routinely tested for syphilis early in their pregnancies.
- Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection, exists all over the world — in uncooked meat, certain types of soil, and cat feces — and, like syphilis, can cause serious birth defects such as vision or hearing loss or brain damage
- Chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placenta and the amniotic fluid, though rare, is a cause of preterm labor and delivery, both or which can result in birth damage
- Hepatitis B, a very dangerous complex virus that can be transferred to a newborn during childbirth, almost always results in long-term health issues in the baby, including liver failure and cancer
- Listeriosis, triggered by listeria, a bacteria found in certain raw foods, can invade fetal membranes, disrupting nutrition and possibly causing brain damage or death
- Herpes simplex viral infection, also known as congenital herpes, can cause skin or systemic infections in newborns
- Cytomegalovirus infection symptoms may cause a pregnant woman to lose her baby or may cause the newborn to develop a broad range of awful symptoms, ranging from rash and jaundice to microcephaly (small head), seizures, or cerebral palsy later on
It should be noted that Ebola and Zika viruses, though not presently occurring in the U.S., cause many newborn deaths in some parts of the world and that HIV still results in a few infant deaths here.
What Your Doctor Should Have Done to Prevent Damage from Birth Injury Infections
Your doctor can be held legally liable for medical malpractice if she or he deviates from the normal standard of care, so we will work hard to prove that your obstetrician failed to do at least one of the following:
- Provide proper prenatal care by not administering proper prenatal tests, not taking or paying sufficient attention to your full medical history, not monitoring prenatal abnormalities in growth or position, or not referring you to a necessary specialist
- Detect and address signs of fetal distress, e.g. abnormal fetal heart rate, decreased fetal movement, vaginal bleeding, abnormal amniotic fluid
- Administer appropriate antibiotics or other medications to cure detected infections
- Prevent premature birth by stitching the cervix closed temporarily, or administer hormones or medications to suppress preterm labor
- Induce labor or perform a Cesarean in time if absolutely necessary
- Make sure your newborn had all necessary neonatal intensive car
Contact Our Birth Injury Infection Attorneys Today
We know the terrible pain your family is suffering and are ready to fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. Whether your newborn’s life has been made more difficult or you have lost your precious baby due to your doctor’s negligence, Cooper Schall & Levy is here for you. We know we cannot take away your heartache, but we will use our legal knowledge to bring you the resources you need going forward. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.
Cooper Schall & Levy medical malpractice lawyers serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Delaware County and cover neighborhoods such as Norristown and Drexel Hill.